Avoyelles School District enrollment down by 201 students
There are 201 fewer students in Avoyelles Parish public schools than there were at this time last year.
APSD Superintendent Blaine Dauzat said this year’s budget projected a 200-student decline in enrollment. The Oct. 1 “count that counts” tally confirmed those projections.
The school system’s allotment of state Minimum Foundation Program dollars is based on the Oct. 1 enrollment count and another check up in early February.
As a result of the district’s forethought, the official bad news will not force any need to rethink or refigure the budget.
BUNKIE SCHOOLS GAIN
Two of the 10 schools have a growth in enrollment. Bunkie Elementary increased 18 students, from 311 in October 2018 to 329 this year.
Bunkie Magnet High’s increase was less than earlier enrollment counts had indicated, with 39 more students than last October. The school’s enrollment increased from 595 students to 634.
Avoyelles High lost the most students, 85, dropping from 633 students to 548.
Marksville High remains the parish’s largest high school -- but not by much -- declining from 694 to 651 students for a 43-pupil drop.
LaSAS’ enrollment remained steady at 424.
In the elementary schools, Plaucheville has 43 fewer students, 572 in 2018 and 529 now; Lafargue has 39 fewer, 665 to 626 and Riverside lost 33, 287 to 254.
Cottonport and Marksville each lost less than 10 students.
Cottonport’s enrollment fell by nine students, from 382 to 373. Marksville’s dropped by seven, from 507 to 500.
Elementary enrollment figures do not include pre-K classes, which are funded through the district’s Federal Programs and not the state MFP. There are five fewer students in Pre-K in the district, from 235 to 230.
BIG DROPS IN JR. HIGH
In the high schools, as was expected, the biggest declines were in 7th and 8th grades. In fact, the number of junior high students in the four high schools fell from 792 to 697 -- a 95-student decline, which more than accounts for the overall loss of 88 students in grades 7-12.
The elementary schools’ enrollments were not noted by grade level.
School District officials had expected the recent opening of Red River Charter Academy in Mansura to attract a number of its students in grades 6-8 this year. RRCA has an enrollment of almost 200. The school will add a high school grade each year until it is a grade 6-12 high school.
The district had been losing about 80-100 students a year for the past few years.
The loss of 201 students equates to about $1.6 million less in state funds than the district received last year.
The School District ended the past budget year with a $1.8 million surplus but is projecting a $2.5 million deficit, due in large part to a reduction in MFP funds.